A fit-again front-man is this week’s headline act as our regular Saturday morning article gets shifted to Friday evening. Also under analysis are a couple of wingers across the price ranges as we assess some overlooked alternatives for your perusal once again:
Finally free of the heel injury that has kept him in the West Ham treatment room for the first few months of the season, the big centre-forward made an immediate impression off the bench at Cardiff last week. Carroll was handed just 14 minutes as a late sub but still found the time to tee up Mark Noble for the visitors’ second and take the pressure off under-fire Sam Allardyce.
A look back at the last few months of 2012/13 highlights Carroll’s capabilities. After a stuttering start, he ended the season in fine form, producing six goals and four assists in his final 14 appearances for the Hammers. With Big Sam’s side tailored to the target man’s talents up front, regular service from out wide can be expected as Carroll’s aerial abilities look set to wreak havoc amongst top-flight backlines once again.
It’s not yet certain he’ll start against former club Newcastle tomorrow but his cameo against the Bluebirds may well persuade his manager to take a punt. With an eye-catching run of four home fixtures in six (SWA, avl, NOR, SOU, eve, HUL) from Gameweek 24 onwards, canny Fantasy managers may be looking to draft in Carroll (7.2 in Fantasy Premier League, 8.1 in the Sky Sports game and 3.0 in the Sun Dream Team) before the potential bandwagon begins.
An injury to Samir Nasri in last week’s win at Newcastle looks set to boost the Spaniard’s chances of regular starts on the City right flank. With Nasri expected to be sidelined for up to eight weeks after being stretchered off at St James’ Park, Navas offers an intriguing route into Manuel Pellegrini’s free-scoring side ahead of four home fixtures in the next six Gameweeks.
At the Etihad, in particular, the summer signing from Sevilla has shone. Across his last seven home appearances, Navas has produced two goals, six assists and seven bonus points – delving further into his data, the winger has produced 43 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) points in five starts in front of his own fans.
With Cardiff, Chelsea, Sunderland and Stoke all paying visit between now and Gameweek 27, Navas – who also has a trip to Norwich on his agenda – may prove a canny investment for those looking for an alternative to the template-friendly Yaya Toure. At 8.3 in FPL, 7.6 in the Sky Sports game and 4.0 in the Sun Dream Team he’s cheaper than the Ivorian (10.1) and David Silva (9.3) and, as his home displays have demonstrated, is more than capable of delivering for Pellegrini’s side.
The Sunderland wide-man was far from Fantasy radars heading into last week’s trip to Fulham. It’s understandable, though – Johnson had started just one of the previous eight league matches under Gus Poyet and had looked no more than a peripheral figure in the Black Cats’ battle for survival.
Handed a start on the right of a 4-3-3 at Craven Cottage, Johnson served up a 22-point FPL haul, courtesy of three goals, an assist and maximum bonus points to announce himself as a definite name to consider. With Poyet altering his tactical approach in order to get the most out of Johnson’s talents, the former Man City winger seems poised to play a significant role over the remainder of the season.
Coming in at 6.4 in FPL (7.4 in the Sky Sports game and 3.5 in the Sun Dream Team), Johnson’s mid-price appeal may well persuade some to take a punt over site-favourite Ki Sung-Yeung (4.8). With three home games (SOU, STO, HUL) and a trip to neighbours Newcastle in the next four, the schedule certainly looks kind for Johnson and Poyet as the in-form Wearsiders look to scramble their way out the drop zone.